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Monday, 31 December 2012

Last post of the year - Happy New Year

Lucky - commission
© Sharon Whitley

Well 2012 is almost behind us, we're about to wave bye bye to another year - the year I started blogging and hopefully this will continue for many more years to come - thank you so much to everyone who follows this blog and Two pairs of Boots which is the blog Gary and I share.   I really do appreciate every one of you who pops by and leaves comments -  it's a funny thing isn't it - you feel like you really do get to know people through this blogging lark even though you are unlikely to actually meet them in perso - I feel like I've 'met' some wonderful people, inspirational, artists, walkers, birders, wildlife lovers and it's wonderful browsing through all your blogs - which I do, even if I don't always leave comments - sometimes I have to admit that captcha thing puts me off as it takes me at least 3 attempts to get it right!!!

It makes it all the more special when the opportunity arises to actually meet one of you in person which I did yesterday - a truly inspirational young man - this young fella is quckly turning into a local celebrity - Findlay Wilde, having been featured recently in Cheshire Life and with other exciting things in the pipeline - if you don't already follow his blog then take a look, this young man is only 10 years old and is already an expert on birds and his enthusiasm for nature is wonderful to see in someone so young. Gary and I met up with him yesterday at Burton Mere to deliver a painting I'd done earlier this month.  You can read about the day on Gary's blog post here and on Findlay's post here.

Here I am with the young man himself

.... a great way to end the year !  Look forward to meeting you and your family again soon Findlay!

The cheeky chappy who I painted above is my latest pet portrait commission which the recipient is thrilled with so big sigh of relief again - this commission stuff is not good for the nerves! I'm so excited about 2013 and can't wait to keep those brushes flowing with more paintings and hopefully improve with practice and Gary and I have got a big charity challenge coming up in June which I'm both nervous and excited about - more about that soon, so in the meantime have a wonderful New Year whatever you do - we'll be walking up Moel Famau to take in the New Year (as long as it stops blowing a hooly and pouring down with rain that is!)

Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas Commissions

Hello bloggers, hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas and looking forward to the New Year festivities whatever you may be doing.  Now that Christmas has come and gone I can post the paintings I did in the run up to Christmas which were commissions for Christmas gifts, and thankfully all the recipients were very happy, the first one is Sam the springer spaniel....

and here is Zack the black labrador who very sadly died in September....

and walking boots, I've now painted 3 versions of these walking boots and all of them are in various locations - still need to paint a version for myself!

so what did I get for Christmas?  Well I've been very very lucky and had some really lovely gifts from friends and family but my very favourite of them all is this fantastic painting of Cwm Idwal as seen from Pen yr Ole Wen, an amazing watercolour by my favourite landscape artist Rob Piercy, isn't it just gorgeous, oh to be able to paint like that!

There's a little story behind this one - you may remember Gary and I were going to Rob Piercy's Christmas exhibition earlier this month link here.  Well while I was browsing he secretly snuck off to collect the painting below which he knew I loved and had bought for me for Christmas....

but while we were there I was raving about Piercy's more recent painting of Cwm Idwal with the snowy tops just like it was when we walked there a few weeks ago link here.  Oh **** thought Gary - I've bought the wrong one!  ..... so a few days later he drove all the way back to Porthmadog to change it (a 4 hour round trip)!  I'd have been just as thrilled with the first one but it makes it all the more special that he went to all that effort to get me the one he knew was my favourite - I'm a very lucky lady !

also on Two Pairs of Boots there are photos of our latest walk which was on Boxing Day - just a short walk in our local area in the Clwydian hills - Christmas stuff combined with very wet and windy weather has meant that we haven't got out walking much over the last few weeks - hopefully get some good walks in soon!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Merry Christmas to you all!

What a mad time of year this is!  Have you been rushed off your feet like me?  My own fault really for leaving everything til the last minute like I do EVERY year!  But nearly there now and today I've given myself the day off from Christmas stuff and been to the zoo with Gary (although I did buy a couple of stocking fillers from the gift shop!.  Gary was in his element trying out the new camera - results soon to be posted on his blog.

This evening I've managed to squeeze in a festive painting - I've given my little robin a Santa hat and made it snow - I really hope the constant rain stops and we get some snow over Christmas.   I made sure there was plenty of snow in Gary's Christmas card too - he's never happier than when he's out in  snow covered mountains, ice axe at the ready...

This will probably be my last post before Christmas so I'd like to wish you all a wonderful time over the festive period and very best wishes for the New Year and thank you all for your support since I started this new venture into blogland earlier this year - I really appreciate you popping in to read my posts, viewing my artwork and photos and leaving such lovely comments!

Nadolig Llawen!!!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Frightened by a wood mouse!

I was inspired to do this little watercolour sketch (albeit not a very good one!) of a cute little wood mouse after one frightened the life out of me as I was carrying the Christmas decorations from the shed - something flew out of the box I was carrying and landed on the grass beside me - standing stock still with big stary eyes looking at me!  Mice are very cute and it's lovely that they're in the garden but it soon became clear that they had been getting into the shed and feasting on the bird seed I keep in there - we had a good clear out of the shed, got rid of a few things they'd pooped all over and nibbled and eventually found the hole they had been using to get in and out - thanks to Gary that is now blocked off and there's been no sign of them coming in since - I think they're probably nesting under the shed but I'm sorry little mice I'm afraid the nightly shed party is over (I hope!)

I think the poor little fella had more of a fright than I did - he stood like this on the grass for a couple of minutes before scooting off

At least they didn't nibble through the lights, all in perfect working order!

Hope you're all enjoying the run up to Christmas, I've still loads of pressies to get and food to buy, a mad time of year!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Findlay's Ducks

I love this photo that Findlay took of the three ducks that he has on his wonderful birding blog here.

I thought it would make a nice, simple little painting, just 3 ducks waddling along, hope you like this Findlay...

Don't forget to pop over to Findlay's blog Wilde About Birds - it's an absolute delight, a very inspiring young man!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Castell y Gwynt (Castle of the Winds)

Our first proper winter walk of the year - loads of snow up on the Glyders in Snowdonia and even though I've been full of a horrible cold all week I was determined to get out there as the conditions were looking good .... and we weren't disappointed.  This is one of my favourite views, Castell y Gwynt (Castle of the Winds) up on Glyder Fach with the Snowdon Horseshoe looking glorious in the background.  It's a view that has been painted by many landscape artists - I've not yet tackled it but plan to one day - whether anyone will actually get to see my effort is another matter!

Here are some of my favourites from real artists!

© Louise Morgan
see more on her website HERE

© Alwyn Dempster Jones (pastel)
I've seen this one 'in the flesh' at the Helfa Gelf event (North Wales Open Studios) amazing detail and really nice to meet him, here is a link to his blog

© Dave Roberts (pastel)
I've been lucky enough to see this one up close as well at the Helfa Gelf when we visited Dave Robert's studio - a brilliant painting and a really lovely guy too

© Rob Piercy
 from the amazingly talented artist Rob Piercy painted this wonderful interpretation of Castell y Gwynt - fabulous isn't it....
here is a link to his website

Rob Piercy is previewing his Christmas exhibition at his Porthmadog gallery tomorrow and Gary's taking  me to see it - can't wait to meet the man himself!

Here is another of his paintings and another place where we walked yesterday - the beautiful Cwm Idwal,  what a fabulous painting and just how it looked yesterday with the snow topped Glyders behind

© Rob Piercy

 to see more photos from yesterday's walk,  pop over to our walking blog
if you like winter mountain landscapes I promise you won't be disappointed!